telling stories

I’m a story-teller.

I like to tell stories of things that happened to me.

True stories.

I’ve been telling you stories here in this space that I call Sluiter Nation for almost five years.

In fact, this is my 1,000th story.

Some people may see that number as huge.  I can assure you my family is not stunned by that number.

They have been listening to me tell stories for far longer than the five years I have been writing them down here.  Publicly.

In fact, my parents had listened to so many of my stories, that they started tuning them out.

My brothers don’t listen to a word I say anymore (nor do they read this blog) because they have story-overload from all the years as kids that I talked non-stop.

I once dated a guy who said, “Kate, if I listened to everything you ever said, I would do nothing else with my life.”  While everyone in my “real” life agrees this guy was a total douche bag, they also agree that this may be the most accurate statement ever uttered.

Which is probably part of why I started Sluiter Nation so long ago.

It was a place to collect the stuff we did and share with those who wanted to “listen”.

I started taking this blog pretty seriously once Eddie was born.

I’m not from a family of storytellers at all.

Finding out what my mom and dad were like in high school or as newlyweds (they were married for five years before having me, the oldest) is next to impossible.

It’s like pulling teeth to get my grandparents to talk about the past.  I get head nods or “oh, I suppose,” when I ask about their lives.

And I know there are stories to be told.

Both of my grandpas were in the service and served in wars.

My paternal grandmother drove across the country to California to marry my grandpa before he was shipped out.

My maternal grandmother (who has passed) raised four daughters on welfare and taking in other people’s laundry because my grandpa was no where to be found.

My maternal grandfather has battled alcoholism and womanizing and has been fairly absent in my mom’s life, but is now facing his mortality.

No one talks about anything.

No one tells stories.

Once I found a few pages from a steno pad that my mom had scribbled a few funny things I did and said.  It is all I have from what it was like to mother me in my first years of life.

While I was good about putting together Eddie’s baby book (ok, more than “good”; you should see the thing…it’s EPIC), it is really just a collection of pictures and statistics.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ll do the same thing for Charlie, but this blog became something that no baby book could house.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about why I blog and for whom.

And I’ve noticed a lot of other bloggers have been writing about this question too.

I started this blog for me.

So I could talk without interruption or my family rolling their eyes or turning away and starting their own conversations.

I continued this blog because people started reading…they were listening voluntarily to my stories.

When I realized people were reading, I lost sight a bit of why this blog existed in the first place.  I let myself explore sponsored posts and giveaways and reviews.  None of it felt right though.

Not here in Sluiter Nation anyway.

No, this space was not for profit.

And since announcing that I have thought long and hard about what this blog is for…why is it here…and whom it is written for.

I would be lying if I didn’t say I wrote for readers.

It’s not my primary reason for writing this blog, but since getting regular readers, I do keep you in mind.

I have found over the last two years that I can be an honest voice for things like motherhood, depression, anxiety, miscarriage, and other loss.

I have noticed when I look at my stats (which admittedly is not often), that I get more “hits” on days where I confess something or bleed something difficult out.  Days when I am happy and at peace and sharing the cute and cuddly stuff?  Not so much.

But I don’t adjust my content based on stats.

This won’t turn into a “depression blog” or a “loss blog” or a “miscarriage blog”.

If, for whatever reason, you all start to leave me one by one, I won’t stop writing.

Because ultimately, I started this blog for me.

But I keep going for my boys.

For my family.

For those who will come after me and find my words when I am nothing but a name on a family tree.

I will write about the happy, the sad, the painful, the mundane, the funny, the poignant, the messy, the ugly, and the lovely.

I hope you will keep reading, because I do so love what you have brought to my life.

But know that if you leave, this blog shall go on.

Because it has to.

Someone has to tell the stories.

Someone has to be the story teller.

Someone has to preserve the memories big and oh so small.

I have decided that someone is me.

So here’s to 1,000 posts.

And hopefully there will be thousands more.

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About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.

Comments

  1. Because of why you blog, and what you blog about – that’s why I read. Because I know I will always get the real Katie. On the good days and the bad. And you have wonderful stories. Keep telling them.

    Congratulations on the epic 1,000 posts. May you have thousands more.

  2. I love this post. I have always though of myself as a storyteller as well. I know on my blog I haven writing a lot more about my battle with depression and anxiety, but that is part of how I am healing. I also want to make the topic less of a stigma. But even through it I am writing a very happy and I hope endearing children’s series of poems/stories. I do look at my stats a lot, but mostly because I want to better understand the PR aspects of it. More like what time I post it and what time I share it on Facebook or twitter, and how that effects numbers. For me the happy children’s poems/stories do actually generate more traffic than the depression/anxiety stuff. Congratulations on 1,000. I’m new to your blog but really like it.

  3. Happy 1000th post! I love the storytelling aspect of blogging.

    Also, Abbey the other day asked me, “Mommy, why are you always talking?” Pot, kettle, and all that stuff 🙂

  4. Congratulations on 1000 posts! I’m only halfway there but I’m sure I’ll never catch up with you.
    And yes, it’s good to record all of this stuff. Your kids will love it one day.
    Your Friend, m.

  5. Congratulations on your 1000th post. That boggles my mind now that I’m blogging. I love that you’re a story teller, which is why I read. I love real, honest, heartfelt.

    Story…after dating my boyfriend for about 6 months or so, I was telling him some story or another. I asked if he wanted me to stop, and he said, “No, go ahead, talk away.” Then he laughed and said “If you had an Indian name, it would be ‘Talk Away'” And so it is. I’m not Indian, but the name has stuck.

    Keep telling stories, Katie!

  6. You can’t shake us that easily, Sluiter! I love that you are able to keep your eye on the prize: the real mission of Sluiter Nation. I got a bit lost with promotions and what not for a while there. But it doesn’t feel like me. I love your stories like you love those bunk beds. And by the way, I gasped out loud when I saw the picture. I touched the screen that day, wanting to feel the impression. That’s what your words do. I may not comment every day, but I am here.

    Also, I think I dated that same douche-bag. 😉

  7. PS: Congrats on that 1,000th post!

  8. TheNextMartha says

    Congrats. This is fantastic. I love your stories.

  9. I blog for much the same reason, Katie. Take, for instance, yesterday. I didn’t really write that for me, although it helped to get it all out. I wrote because I thought maybe my struggle with depression and trying to describe it accurately might help someone else. And I think it did judging from the comments.

    But I would be lying if I said I didn’t care about stats and other people commenting on my blog. Actually, my hope is always to receive some comments in return for supporting other blogs.

    Sometimes I get too caught up in it. I have been in a bit of a slump lately. I recently blogged about days that were just our family having fun and putting pictures out there for anyone to see. Not many people commented. I always get the highest stats when I write about falling apart! I find that people are ambulance chasers. They’re looking for a story and not always a happy one.

  10. Congrats on your 1,000th post. I enjoy coming over and hearing your stories. Some I can totally relate to while others I don’t have a personal experience with, but after reading feel that I have a better understanding of.

    Here’s to 1,000 more posts!

    Cheers!

  11. What a great post to mark the occasion 🙂 I’ll still be here reading, happy or sad, love your stories! Funny I find it difficult to get certain stories out of my parents too…. must work on that!

  12. love this… never thought of myself as a story teller.. that was my step mom.. i really wish she would have blogged or wrote down some of her stories because she was the best at telling them. you felt like you were there.. me not so much… i write to clear my mind.. and still think my writing sucks! lol. Glad i found you and your blog.. and looking forward to the next 1000 posts!

  13. You are more than just a storyteller my friend…you are a writer. A brilliant one.
    I’m so blessed to come and read your words every single time you post whether it’s good stuff, bad stuff and all that’s in between.
    Your writing is real and raw.
    It’s an extension of your soul.
    We are all so privledged to be apart of your journey. xoxox

  14. Happy 1000th…
    I’m slowly making my way backwards through them all!

  15. You and are so similar and that is probably why, I like you so much. I consider myself a story teller and that is why I blog.

    I tell stories, sure I love to get a response from the audience but mostly I write those stories for me and someday for my children to read.

    This was a beautiful post… thank you.

  16. I feel the same way. My “about me” page even states that I’m a storyteller. Any time I meet up with friends they always say the same thing, “tell us about what is going on.” I finally realized that what they want is the story and I’m actually good at telling it.

  17. Wow–1,000 posts! Good for you! As a kid, my dad affectionately referred to me as, “motor mouth.” So, I totally get you–I cannot *not* talk. 🙂 It’s how some of us are wired and it is great to see a blog where talking through it all brings you joy! That’s why I’ve begun blogging, as well. Joy in talking–err—writing.

  18. Congrats on your 1000th post. That is amazing to me… I still have a long, long way to go. I love that you tell your story and the way you tell your story. I’m not as eloquent with words that’s why I post a lot more pictures, I think. It’s my way of preserving the memories for my children! Here’s to the next 1000!!! 🙂

  19. One-thousand posts is quite the milestone, m’lady.

    And we all love that you’re a storyteller. I really think that’s the single greatest talent a blogger can have. I find that I gravitate toward a few key blogs . . . there are great writers out there, by the droves . . . but, well, there are few who can turn a “I spent a day with my boys and nothing extraordinary happened” post into a post worth reading.

    And you can.

  20. CRYING!!!! you do this to me, friend!!!

    There is SUCH power in our voices. Don’t ever, EVER stop telling those stories!!

    xoxoxo

  21. Proud of you! And cheers to 1,000 posts. 🙂

  22. you’re a good storyteller. Cheers to many more posts and years ahead of you!

  23. Congratulations on 1,000 posts!

  24. I love this. So very much.

  25. The story must go on.

    I love your space on the blogosphere.

  26. Happy 1000th story(I love that you say story and not post…love that!).xoxo

  27. After reading your words it sounds a bit silly to just say “Happy 1,00th post” but, I guess I just did anyway… 😉 Congrats, truly. And yes, we gotta tell these stories and keep them alive for our kids and theirs and so on. You’re a wonderful and honest and REAL story teller and that is wonderful.

  28. Congrats on a thousand posts!

    I feel the same you do. For awhile, I was really trying to do sponsered posts and network…but it wasn’t me. I like to write what I want to write when I want to write it. And I often think about my kids reading it one day. I am terrible at the baby books…but at least they’ll have my blog and my real feelings and stories.

  29. Congratulations on 1000 posts!

    I always chuckle when someone asks me where I get the stories for my blog. Umm… everywhere! What isn’t a story? My mother-in-law marvels that people can take something as simple as preparing breakfast and make it a story, she says, “You describe things just like a writer does!” Uh… yeah…

    Anyway, many congratulations!

  30. 1,000 posts.
    An incredible achievement.

    And within all those words, these three say it all; these three explain why your posts will continue and why we will continue to read them:

    “I’m a story-teller.”

    Three little words.
    That tell your world.

  31. 1,000 is deinitely a milestone! Thanks for the stories. The world needs accessable, honest, real-life stories. Cheers to 1,000 more (and that would be a literal “cheers” since the kids are now tucked into bed and safely away from my wine:-))

  32. I adore this!! Congratulations on 1000 posts. I will be anxiously awaiting the next 1000. 🙂

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